20170918

Saraki Reacts To IPOB Ban... Says It's Unconstitutional

Senate President Bukola Saraki says the categorisation of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as a terrorist organisation by the defence headquarters and proscription of the group by south-east governors did not follow due process.

The military and governors from the south-east moved against IPOB on Friday.

In a statement released on Monday, Saraki said due processes must be followed in accordance with the law before such declaration can have effect.

The senate president expressed hope that President Muhammadu Buhari would initiate the right process for declaring IPOB a terrorist group, saying this would demonstrate to the world at large that “we are a country that operates by laid down process”.

“I also wish to state that the announcement of the proscription of the group known as IPOB by governors of the south-east states and the categorisation of the group as a terrorist organisation by the Nigerian military is unconstitutional and did not follow due process,” the statement read.

“Our laws make clear provisions for taking such actions and without the due process being followed, such declaration cannot have effect.

“Our brothers and sisters in the south-east, in particular, should continue to maintain peace and tranquillity and go about their lawful business. This crisis will not benefit anybody but would only expose innocent people to unwarranted danger.”

Saraki added that the national assembly will embark on a “fact-finding mission” to the south-east.